Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.

Seán Crowe

Question:

143 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the principal, staff and parents of children attending St. Mary's national school, Greenhills Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24, in view of the fact that his Department has agreed to grant aid 95% towards the refurbishment of the school; the reason no date has been given for starting the necessary work; and if his Department has also considered the possible implications the current poor condition of the school will have on the health and safety of the children attending the school. [15136/02]

Architectural planning for a building project at St. Mary's national school, Greenhills, Tallaght, is at an early stage. Decisions on projects proceeding to tender and construction are taken in the light of the annual allocation for primary school buildings, the financial commitments to be met and the priority to be afforded to individual projects. An extensive building programme for 2002 has already been approved and published. It is not envisaged that the proposed building project at St. Mary's national school, Greenhills, Tallaght, will proceed to construction in 2002.

Later this year when a financial allocation has been made for the primary school building programme in the 2003 estimates I will be framing a further comprehensive programme of works that will proceed to construction and the school concerned will be one of those considered for inclusion in that programme.

It is my intention to bring greater transparency to the operation of the school building programme and I intend to publish the programme annually. I am also anxious to build a multi-annual dimension into the published programme so that schools will have an indication of the expected timelines relating to their project.